Simon Goddard's induction at EBA
It was with great delight that the Eastern Baptist Association came together on Saturday 1 February at 3pm in the afternoon at Bottisham Village College to welcome and induct Revd Simon Goddard as our new Regional Minister.
The school hall was full of friends, family, and representatives from across the whole association including our partner association and many members of the local ecumenical community within East Anglia. Paul Hills, our current team leader led the service with worship provided by RE:NEW, the local church which Simon was previously minister at.
Helen Thatcher a member of the EBA council shared the story of how as an association we had got to the point of appointing Simon, comparing the interview day to that of the BBC television show “The Apprentice” but how Simon had shared his heart and vision for the EBA within that day.
Helen also highlighted the work of the Holy Spirit in both Simon’s life and the life of the association before the role was even vacant and throughout the whole process.
Peter Wells, a member of RE:NEW spoke of how Simon had shared with them in January 2013 a sense that God was calling him into a new ministry but how he was unsure what this was and how the church had supported Simon in prayer throughout this time.
RE:NEW grew out of a covenant between two small chapel fellowships, but is now a thriving expression of church which gathers on Sunday mornings in the local primary school. Peter described how Simon had led them through a period of change with grace and humility, and how blessed the church and wider community have been throughout Simon’s ministry with them.
David Mayne, the Association moderator led the induction vows and it was a real blessing to have Simon standing surrounded by his wife, Lisa the current EBA team, partnership representative and about eight members representing different ecumenical bodies committing to a renewed working relationship to further the Kingdom of God within our area.
During Simon’s talk the children prepared a tree which formed the basis of a prayer activity that all were invited to participate in afterwards. Speaking from John 15 Simon expressed God’s desire for us to be fruitful as individuals, as churches and as an association. All were challenged to actively go and add our prayers for fruitful mission on to this tree using fruit shaped post it notes, and many responded.
The afternoon finished with tea provided by RE:NEW, followed by a Ceilidh with a live band again from the local area which was a fitting end to a great day. Please continue to pray for our Association team as they serve together equipping churches in their mission and ministry to their communities.